Information Sciences

Dean of the School: Allen Renear
501 East Daniel Street
Champaign, IL 61820-6211
(217) 333-7197, (800) 982-0914 (within the U.S.)

Major: Information Management
Degree Offered: M.S.

Major: Library and Information Science
Degrees Offered: M.S., C.A.S., Ph.D.
Graduate Concentrations: Digital Libraries (C.A.S. only), Writing Studies (Ph.D. only)

Major: Bioinformatics
Degree Offered: M.S.
Graduate Concentration: Library and Information Science

Online Programs
Degrees Offered: M.S., C.A.S.
Graduate Concentration: Digital Libraries (C.A.S. only)
Information Management: M.S.
Library and Information Science: M.S., C.A.S.

Joint Degree Programs: Library and Information Science and African Studies; Library and Information Science and History
Degrees offered: M.S. and M.A.

Graduate Degree Programs

The School of Information Sciences (iSchool) offers programs of study leading to the Master of Science (M.S.), the Certificate of Advanced Study (C.A.S), and the Doctor of Philosophy degrees. Three Master of Science (M.S.) degree scheduling options are available. The M.S. in Library and Information Science (L.I.S.) prepares students for professional careers in all types of information organizations, including libraries. The M.S. in Information Management (I.M.) will prepare the students for information-intensive professional roles in a broad range of sectors. The Library and Information Science concentration of the campus-wide M.S. in bioinformatics program emphasizes multidisciplinary skills that are required for a career developing and managing information systems for the biological community. The C.A.S. program provides the opportunity

  1. to study an aspect of information sciences in greater depth than is possible in the M.S. program,
  2. to refresh and upgrade one's professional training several years after completing a M.S. program, or
  3. to redirect one's career into a different area of library and information science.

K-12 Library Information Specialist Licensure is available in conjunction with both the M.S. in L.I.S. and C.A.S. The Ph.D. is a research degree program.


Applicants are admitted in the fall, spring, and summer semesters. The general admission requirements of the Graduate College apply. Consideration is also given to language study and computer skills, relevant work experience, letters of reference, and evidence of leadership. International students must score at least 620 on the paper-based Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) (260 on the computer-based test; 104 on the iBT version); or 7 on each section of the IELTS. The M.S. in bioinformatics requires a strong background in information science including undergraduate-level computing and mathematics. The C.A.S. requires a master's degree in library and information science and a grade point average of at least 3.0 (A = 4.0) in the master's program. K-12 admission requires admissions into the M.S. program and a passing score on the Illinois Test of Academic Proficiency.

K-12 Library Information Specialist Licensure

The K-12 Licensure option allows students to meet the requirements for the M.S. or C.A.S in L.I.S. while also pursuing the courses and training needed for state teacher licensure. Courses in library and information science as well as education, practicum, and student teaching are required for licensure. The requirements for the Library Information Specialist licensure were approved by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) in 2001. K-12 licensure may be pursued on-campus or via the online scheduling option.

Graduate Teaching Experience

Although teaching is not a general Graduate College requirement, experience in teaching is considered an important part of the graduate experience in the Ph.D. program for those interested in faculty careers.

Facilities and Resources

Among the major areas of faculty research are:

  • community informatics
  • data analytics
  • data curation
  • digital libraries
  • information retrieval
  • information organization
  • information history and policy
  • librarianship and literature for youth
  • privacy, security, and trust
  • ethics and values for information

The iSchool's Center for Informatics Research in Science and Scholarship (CIRSS) conducts research on information problems that impact scientific and scholarly inquiry. The Center for Children's Books (CCB) provides a review and research collection of the newest literature for children and young adults. The Center for Digital Inclusion (CDI) fosters inclusive and sustainable societies through research, teaching, and public engagement about information and communication technologies (ICT) and their impacts on communities, organizations, and governments.  The Communications Office produces two high-quality publications, Library Trends and The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books. The staff of each of these units is available to students and faculty for consultation and guidance. A computer network with Internet connectivity is integral to teaching and learning activities. The University Library provides a vast reservoir of resources for all types of study and research in library and information science.

The School maintains an ongoing commitment to continuing education through conferences, institutes, workshops, and course offerings.

Financial Aid

Financial aid may be available from the iSchool, the University Library, and elsewhere in the University in the form of graduate assistantships, teaching assistantships, research assistantships, and hourly paid work. Area libraries may provide pre-professional or hourly positions. Also, the iSchool offers a limited number of fellowships for which doctoral students tend to be favored over C.A.S. and master's degree students. Students in the joint program that do not hold a FLAS fellowship are eligible for, but not guaranteed, fellowship or assistantship support in the semesters in which they are enrolled in the iSchool. Any assistantship awarded to these students provides a waiver of the base in-state tuition and service fee as well as a stipend. Non-Illinois residents must pay the difference between in- and out-of-state tuition.

The Ph.D. program consists of the following components:

  1. a history and foundation of LIS seminar (4 graduate hours);
  2. research methods (8 or more graduate hours);
  3. electives (36 graduate hours);
  4. field exam; and
  5. thesis (32 or more graduate hours).

Thus, a minimum of 48 graduate hours of coursework plus 32 graduate hours of thesis credit are required.

Detailed requirements are listed here:

Doctor of Philosophy in Library and Information Science

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign's School of Information Sciences complies with the U.S. Department of Education's Gainful Employment requirements by disclosing information to applicants regarding our Certificate of Advanced Study program. Required information can be found here.

M.S. Library and Information Science and M.A. African Studies

This joint master’s degree includes a program of language and area studies courses leading to an interdisciplinary Master of Arts degree in African Studies as well as a program of study leading to the Master of Science in Library and Information Science. The joint degree matches area expertise with professional education, and prepares students for professional careers in all types of information organizations, including libraries.

M.S. Library and Information Science and M.A. History

This joint interdisciplinary master’s degree program includes a program of courses leading to a Master of Arts degree in History as well as a Master of Science in Library and Information Science. The joint degree program matches expertise in historical research and writing with professional education, and prepares students for professional careers in archives, libraries, museums, historical societies, corporations, and government agencies. The joint degree program requires 56 credit hours divided between History and iSchool courses. No more than 12 hours can double count.